Floods close St Mary's but the congregation ensures that worship can continue

On the 3 January 2024, following a long, wet autumn and the force of Storm Henk, the village of Essendine experienced terrible flood damage.  

This extended to St Mary’s Church which was flooded to a depth of 90cm. The Church has experienced floods before and so took as many precautions as possible, but levels were so high that carpets, kneelers and hymn books were sadly unable to be saved. Areas of the church building now require immediate attention and the pipe organ has had to be removed for repair and restoration. 

Overall, the damage was so significant that it meant the church was not able to be opened for services and so, with nowhere to worship, Bishop John was approached to seek permission to hold services at Manor Farm in Essendine, the home of Kay Parkinson, churchwarden at St Mary’s. Bishop John not only granted permission for the services to be held at Manor Farm, but he also personally attended the first service. Katy Parkinson said “It was with great excitement we were able to join together for a service which will be remembered for many years to come. We were very grateful to Bishop John for his care and support at such a dreadful time.” 

Services continue to be held at the farm with visiting priests all enjoying a warm cosy ‘church’ which even boasts a keyboard and very talented young organist. All of the congregation very much look forward to returning to St Mary’s once it has had time to dry out and repairs have been completed, in the meantime, the true meaning of church being the people, not the place has never been more evident.  




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